Monday, 28 August 2017

On The Fence

A short one this time, got side tracked re-fencing and re-painting my garden and am now sticky, itchy and a few other -y adjectives. Which gave me time to catch up on the latest I Don't Do Crowds thingy he sent me, I was quite interested to hear some non-remix work from 'em after the last promising contribution. I actually held onto it for a little while, I got it while I was in the pub a few days ago but I'm glad I waited, there's nothing like some of these end of summer vibes to go with the post-fencework shower beer (seriously, try it.), an atmosphere that would be sorely wasted in a bar.



And finally, another treat from my huge ever growing Spotify 'To Pickup' list. this one came a bit out of leftfield, the smooth intro had me going for a lil while (and tossing up in my mind whether this was a Flashbulb or Ochre piece). I popped down into the kitchen to fix another brew and when I came back was greeted by a floor rattling bass wave. I'm quite enjoying Apparat's IDM side at the mo, it's been a while since I've gone down that rabbit hole so expect more in the near future.



-Claude Van Foxbat

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Back On (Sound)Cloud 9

My usual soundcloud ventures dried up a while ago, simply because my feed was getting pretty scarce, an most artists I went looking for had all the premium shenanigans I don't like to faff with. Now it seems like SC is going to be with us for a little while longer (hopefully) I thought I'd take another crack at it for old times sake.





This one comes to us from Twitter (the submissions system is still a mess I'm afraid, so in the meantime I've opened my DMs), I was a little hesitant at first because sampling/reworking of real old tunes can be a little bit pants in hindsight, see that obnoxious dubstep treatment of The Marvelettes I posted circa 2010 or so. This ain't old blue eyes though for one, and for two does a decent job of working with the production unlike The Marvelettes example. A little more mainstream than my usual affair, but I dig it, has a slight Rustie feel to it methinks and that main lead is pretty bombastic too. I do think that the change up in sound at 1:45 doesn't really work, the combination of tempo and just overall atmosphere change just feels too extreme, going from this summery upbeat style to some slightly sinister bass feels like two completely different songs. It does only come up twice briefly throughout though so it doesn't drag the experience too much. Keep an eye out for this one coming up on your local indie electronic youtube channel twinned with some Evangelion footage and some AfterEffects VHS & CRT presets overlaid.



With that in mind I thought I'd pop back to see what Macross 82-99'd been up to, last I saw was a tweet of their soundcloud stats when it was still in fairly uncertain times. Well good news is that the platform hasn't been abandoned, and there's a couple new pieces of that unique house/future funk and the like to get stuck into. Artists like Macross are the reason why I wanna see SoundCloud stick around, I wouldn't have ever come across tunes like this these, and Macross has gone on to carve a nice little niche in my library. So here's to many more years of digital crate digging on the cloud, I'll be sure to share all I find with you.

-Claude Van Foxbat

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Monkeying Around



Keeping with the soundtrack theme this time, after being informed by former site owner Jordan on twitter that the Ape Escape OST was on spotify I dug it out. The punnily titled Originape Soundtracks came out much much later than the game itself but with good reason, the versions of the tunes on it are slightly jazzed up and re-arranged versions as they're free of the restrictions of having to fit onto a PS1. Now I believe I've mentioned the last few times that Soichi Terada has come up that he's the man responsible for my early exposure to Drum & Bass, and this soundtrack is entirely the reason why, it's not hard to connect the dots between my love of slightly chill spacey sounds and songs like Time Station.



There's plenty more musical archaeology (no pun intended) for the foundations of my musical taste here, I'm certain that Cryptic Relics is at least partially responsible for my love of pitch bends for one. It's also a fantastic demonstration of why Terada's music was a perfect choice for the game, at the risk of repeating myself from last time, he makes it seem incredibly effortless and the end result is once again as at home as a soundtrack as it is on it own. It does however also fall prey to the same issue that affects the entire release, it's a whopping 43 tracks long but to fit all them in they're all incredibly short. I thought that being freed from the limitations of the Playstation would call for extensions but that isn't the case unfortunately, get your fingers ready to repeat.



The other thing I adore about the OST is it's a lovely little time warp to it's own era. Songs like Peak Point Matrix just ooze this pre-millennium atmosphere, the smooth intro sounds like it could be part of a demo disc's opening attract movie. I know I always revisit points like that and it makes me sound like a colossal nostalgia nerd but like I said before, when I was a wee one, demo discs and the like were where I found the little bits and pieces of electronic music that would set me on this path to begin with so it only follows that I have a major soft spot for it. Plus I feel like I owe Mr. Terada some thanks too.



And playing us out, possibly the most Ape Escape encapsulating song of the bunch, Crabby Beach. It actually opens the album which is a masterful move because that little melody that plays is one of the first that jump into my mind when I think of the series (although truth be told I do slightly prefer the sounds of the actual game's version over this one). Like all tunes on here it's a little on the short side, but there's a heck of a lot going on in that 1:42 of runtime.



-Claude Van Foxbat